Are you an entrepreneur? Are you looking for a little advice and guidance on your path to success?
If so, you should ask your local council or university about masterclasses and mentor sessions. These sessions are both interesting and informative and will generally turn out to be quite insightful.
To ensure you get the best out of these sessions, its best to do a little research first, because the speakers may either a) talk about something you’re not interested in, or b) be a complete waste of your time.
So, once you’ve got a list of names (upcoming events in your area), you should do a little background research.
These are the kinds of things you should be looking for:
The number one thing to look for is their resume. What is it they have accomplished? What is it you want to accomplish and does their experience reflect that? If he or she hasn’t ‘walked the walk’, then there’s not much point in attending.
You want them to have paid their dues so they can speak to you about real-life experiences. Ideally they will have failed and succeeded during their career.
This is important because their insight will help you avoid making costly mistakes and increase your chance of success.
Having a great attitude comes with time and experience. The right coach will have been through it all, and they will have come out the other side knowing a sense of humor goes a long way in business.
They can see the bigger picture and the finer details, they understand it’s all a numbers game and they don’t get too upset. The ideal coach is also patient, persistent and determined.
Willing To Share
A great coach will be willing to share all their experiences with you – both good and bad. If you get the feeling that they are holding back, that’s not a good sign. You will learn more from someone who is being transparent.
Does the coach give lectures about a variety of subjects? If that’s the case, then you should exercise a little caution, because it’s impossible to be everything to everyone, and nor is it desirable.
If they’re out there just to earn a quick buck, then they are getting more out of it than you are, and that shouldn’t be the case.
You must be able to have access to your coach – via email or other means. A good coach will be willing to customize a program especially for you, because they know once size doesn’t fit all.
Test how much they care about your problems and concerns by specifically asking them how much time they can offer you, and what their schedule and availability is like.
Note: This isn’t about hounding them, it’s about being able to liaise on an infrequent basis when you may need them.
Who do they know and how can those other people help you?
A great entrepreneur is a great networker, so they know that if they’re going to get to where they want to be, they will need a list of contacts as long as their arm!
We all know the saying; ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’.
Ask your coach what they expect from you. (because this works both ways remember) 😉
A good coach will keep you accountable and set you tasks to achieve by the next time they see you. If you keep up your side of the bargain, they are more likely to keep in touch and guide you through some of the tougher stages – up to the point they think you’re ready to fly solo!